If there is one thing that Beaverdale resident Herb Hollwager should understand, it’s the principle of fluid dynamics.
Hollwager grew up surrounded by the application of this principle, in both air and water.
His father, Bob, you see, had a love for the water and air and taught Herb at an early age all that he knew from flying small aircraft to the joys of boating.
Hanging in his garage is the nautical American flag that once flew on the 24-foot Chris Craft cabin cruiser owned by his parents before he was born.
“They sold that old wooden boat to a partner of my dad,” says Hollwager. “He restored it to its original beauty and enjoyed it on Saylorville Lake for many years. In the 1990s, it developed a large leak around the bilge pump and sank, where it still sits today.”
Though a sad piece of the story, both generations of Hollwagers love the water today. After selling the boat, Bob Hollwager bought a bit of land at a new lake and development in Panora, on Lake Panorama. Building a house on their point of land overlooking the main lake, the Hollwagers, now three generations of them, enjoy summers on the water.
“We just love to spend the weekend at the lake,” says Herb Hollwager. “It’s so relaxing, and I really enjoy sharing the place where I grew up with our daughter, Gabrielle.
“I do wish we had that old boat, though,” Hollwager says. “It was a classic, even when my parents owned it and cruised it at Lake Okoboji. It was all teak and mahogany, with brass fixtures and a front deck that’s just perfect for sunbathing. I’m really glad to have this old flag that once flew above the Hankey Pankey” (the name for the boat).
Old wooden boats, while beautiful, do require constant care and attention.
“They take a lot of money and time to keep them in good shape,” says Hollwager. “Wood expands and contracts with moisture and humidity, so you’re always sealing it from leaks and adding a fresh coat of varnish.”
The Hollwagers also spent much time in the air, with both father and son owning a pilots license.
Whether flying or boating, that flag, nearly 50 years old, serves as Hollwager’s reminder of his roots and his ties to the principle of fluid dynamics.